The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 36.0°F | Overcast

Alumni, Women's Conference Advise Freshmen on Choosing a Residence

By Douglas E. Heimburger
Editor in CHief

Yesterday afternoon, the men and women of the Class of 2002 diverged temporarily to begin their respective residence selection processes.

Men and some women attended "Secrets of the Sages,"a new program co-hosted by the Interfraternity Council and the Dormitory Council. Three graduates from dormitory living and three from fraternity groups shared their views on the residence selection process.

The goal of the program was to allow freshmen to "get some advice in general about the rush process," said Dormcon Rush Chair Kai-Yuh E. Hsiao '99.

Aspects of the residence lottery in particular needed to be clarified, Hsiao said. "The frosh have rumors running around that have no foundation in fact"concerning how the lottery will be working.

Hsiao told the freshmen "not to do dumb things like ranking your sixth choice dorm second,"he said after the event.

During the event itself, the several hundred men and a few women in the audience heard alternately from those who had lived in fraternities and dormitories. Members of each group shared their view on the residence system in general and on the residence selection process.

In describing her own rush, Nicole Larrier '94 said "we decided we were going to see everything, from EC to Next House." Two months after moving into her final dorm, Larrier said she was "glad to get my third choice" dormitory.

There "won't be a wrong decision," said Jagruti S. Patel '97, who lived at Senior House and who now works for Information Systems. "You've got to make the most of where you live."

"There's something very different"between dormitories and fraternities, said Professor Paul LaGace '78, who lived in MacGregor house while at MIT. "There are lots of opportunities, but also a lot of difficulties,"LaGace added.

Meanwhile, alumni who had lived in fraternities encouraged freshmen, even those who had not had contact with upperclass fraternity members, to at least visit fraternities

"The residence life experience was much greater than my academic experience," said Clinton Bensch '94.

Others cited the skills that individuals must acquire as residents of fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. "If you don't paint things, they don't get painted," said Michael T. Butville '98.

Freshmen receive tips on rush

Besides broadly discussing the differences between dormitories and FSILGs, speakers gave freshmen specific tips for the residence selection process.

Larrier suggested touring one's own temporary housing. "You can get false impressions"by just living in that dorm.

"Narrow down the places you're interested in to to a handful," urged Bensch, who added that freshmen should focus on themselves during rush and not worry about traveling in groups.

LaGace said he chose his dorm based on "physical facilities,"and added that despite the popular conception, "there are all types of personalities in those facilities."

Bensch suggested that freshmen consider the number of alumni present at houses during rush. Those alumni are "welcoming you into their second home."

Larrier suggested that freshmen "probe the people that are giving the tours"and also that freshmen "give your parents a call."

After attending Secrets of the Sages, about 100 freshmen stayed for the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program.

Convocation starts sorority rush

Meanwhile, at least 250 women attended the women's convocation in Room 10-250, where sorority and independent living groups were presented.

"Together we can offer you friendship, support, and a place to be yourself,"said Honnie Hong '99, president of the Women's Conference.

"MITgives you a unique opportunity to join"sororities during the freshman year, said Stacey L. Schreiber '00, head of the Panhellenic Council.

"You have everything to gain and nothing to lose,"Schreiber added.

After woman's convocation, women attended the first open house at the sororities before the residence midway.